Ramping up innovation

Antonio Lopez, partner director for EMEA, AWS, talks to Comms Business about how the company supports its partners to develop and deploy innovative solutions.

With cloud adoption continuing at pace, it is no surprise that the channel community here in the UK is increasingly weaving AWS into its offerings. Antonio Lopez, partner director for EMEA at Amazon Web Services (AWS), spoke to Comms Business about the company’s quest for innovation, and the scale at which the company develops and deploys new features and offerings.

He said, “If I look back 10 years ago, it’s incomparable to the capabilities that we have today. Back in 2011, our product development focused on around 110 features. We are now delivering 2,757 [features]. The innovation base has grown tremendously, and we’re not slowing down.”

AWS brings together its global community of partners with programmes, expertise, and resources to build, market, and sell customer offerings in the AWS Partner Network (APN).

Lopez explained, “Our core program, the APN, is today composed of 100,000 partners across 150 countries. We are also very excited that 70 per cent of these partners are outside of the US, many of them in EMEA. Through this programme we help partners to build, market and co-sell with us. We have created a programme, the ISV accelerate, that helps ISVs to connect with our sales teams, and we help them to co-sell their services with customers. We are super excited about this one.”

Another area of opportunity is the AWS Marketplace, which provides a new sales channel for ISVs and consulting partners to sell their solutions to AWS customers. The company says the vision is to “make it easy for customers to find, buy, deploy and manage software solutions, including SaaS, in a matter of minutes”.

Lopez added, “The marketplace is another programme that is very important for us. The marketplace is a curated list of [business solutions and service offerings], many of them are software but we also go beyond software, such as the data space. We have 2 million subscribers and 325,000 customers.”

Accelerating engagement

Lopez spoke to Comms Business shortly after AWS announced updates to its partner programmes at the company’s flagship re:Invent conference. The company announced new AWS Partner Paths, which the company describes as a flexible way to accelerate engagement with AWS. Those paths were introduced at the end of last month (January 2022), and were a response to partner feedback that they needed more ways to work with AWS as their business evolves to meet customer needs.

Lopez explained, “Before we had two types of partners: the consulting partners and the technology partners. We realised that these paths are a better way to connect partners with the resources that are available to them. We now have five paths: software, hardware, distributors, training and services. Partners are not forced to go [down] only one [path]. As they evolve their business, they can select several paths, and we can support them much better with this programme.”

AWS also announced new competencies for energy and migrations. The new AWS Energy Competency Programme differentiates highly specialised partners who enable energy producers to build and operate assets efficiently and safely, while working to transition to a lower carbon world. The AWS Migration and Modernisation Competency is designed for partners with validated migration and modernisation software offerings across key areas, including business case analysis and application mobility.

Lopez added, “It is very important for us to help partners to differentiate themselves in the market.Through achieving technical competencies, partners can prove they have capabilities to serve their customers better.”

Customer focus

Many partners align their business with AWS due to the company’s focus on customers. Lopez explained the partners are “very happy with our culture of customer obsession, where we will always put the customer first”. He added, “Our expectation is that we need to earn the trust of the customer every day so that we can have long term relationships with our customers.”

This interview appeared in our February 2022 print issue. You can read the magazine in full here.

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Charlotte Hathway

Charlotte is the editor of Comms Business and writes about the latest technology innovations and business developments across the Channel. Got a story? Get in touch – charlotte.hathway@markallengroup.com.

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